Dear GCSD Families,
Today a walkout of approximately 100 students took place at Guilderland High School. This was in response to an incident that took place at a GHS football game on Friday, October 14, however the circumstances were a culminating moment for students, prompting the need for them to discuss discriminatory issues and injustices. Students expressed to district and building administrators the hurt, anger and frustration they feel due to the injustices they have experienced.
Racism, of any sort, will not be tolerated at the Guilderland Central School District. Our school community is diverse and varied. It is what defines us and we celebrate that. It is also the very reason for the district’s vision of ensuring a climate and culture that is inclusive, welcoming and affirming; where all students and staff feel safe and valued.
GCSD has taken great strides forward to promote respect, understanding, acceptance, kindness and empathy among our students. Not just so they can learn alongside each other but to prepare them for when they leave our halls and become citizens of the world. Certainly there is more work to do; our students told us so this very morning.
With that said, the district plans to move forward with our mission of creating a climate of respect for all in our schools. We will do this the only way we know how, through the open exchange of ideas and through education. Our students took the first step today.
In the coming days and weeks, GCSD administrators will meet with students through roundtable discussions to continue to gather their firsthand perspectives. The way to move forward and initiate change is to truly understand what our students have experienced, and create systems to safeguard all from the type of hurt that we heard this morning.
Marie Wiles, Ph.D.
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion